Banco Santander Foundation and the Society of Spanish Researchers in the UK grant the 2nd Edition of the SRUK Emerging Talent Award


  • Xavier Moya wins the second edition of the SRUK Emerging Talent Award, a prize sponsored by Banco Santander Foundation, with the aim to recognize the work of young Spanish researchers in the UK.
  • Moya, a Royal Society Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, is an inspiring reference for his ground-breaking contributions in the field of materials science and environmental sustainability.
  • This initiative aims to support young talent and to encourage commitment from institutions and companies to ultimately promote collaborations between countries.

London, 29th June 2017. The Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom (SRUK) and the Banco Santander Foundation have granted the SRUK Emerging Talent Award 2017 to Dr Xavier Moya (Barcelona 1981) for his outstanding academic career in materials science. His research focuses on the development of novel “mechanocaloric” materials, which have great potential for the development of environmentally friendly refrigeration systems. According to Prof. Alfonso Martínez Arias, chair of the designated scientific committee “Xavier Moya’s research helps to address global challenges of great environmental importance”. In addition, “in an area of ​​extremely competitive research, Moya’s achievements stand out in his field as original and with well tested contributions”.

Moya received his PhD in Physics from the University of Barcelona in 2008. After an outstanding postdoctoral period in Cambridge, he started his own research group in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy with only 32 years. He has published more than seventy articles in the most important journals in his field. In 2016, he obtained one of the prestigious grants from the European Research Council to support his research, and received the Award for Novel Researchers by the Spanish Royal Society of Physics. All these recognitions, according to Borja Baselga, director of Banco Santander Foundation, “make Xavier Moya a reference for Spanish and international science, and most importantly, his research is vital for the harmonious fusion of our civilization and the environment”. Baselga hopes that “Moya´s example will inspire many other Spanish researchers to follow their dreams across countries, as knowledge can be freely transferred from one place to another.”

In Xavier Moya´s words, “it is a great honour to be recognised by the SRUK and the Banco Santander Foundation. The Emerging Talent Award will allow me to expand the experimental capabilities of my laboratory in order to pursue new challenging and exciting research directions at the forefront of the critically important field of energy-efficient cooling technologies”.

Moya will use the £14.000 of the prize to the construction of an advanced experimental setup that allows direct measurements of mechanocaloric effects in new materials that could be used in refrigeration. This new system will be key to the development of his research program, being the first of its kind in the world, and will permit exploiting new barocaloric materials to their full potential and also in commercial applications.

With this second edition of the Emerging Talent Award, SRUK/CERU reiterates the Society’s commitment to support Spanish researchers in the UK and to foster relationships between the two countries. María Jiménez, the president of SRUK concluded that “we hope this award will help Xavier to boost his already promising career even further and to consolidate himself as an international leader in his field”. “In these two years, we have received highly competitive applications that highlight the incredible potential of Spanish researchers in the UK, and we are strongly committed to foster their careers”.